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REVIEW: Craft Activism by Deepa Mistry of www.lazygiraffe.com


This book by Joan Tapper and Gale Zucker is an inspiring collection of stories about how the crafting community in America has used handmade to spread a message or make a difference to themselves or their community. It is split into four subjects, Crafting a Statement, Re-crafting the Past, Crafting for a Cause, Crafting to Recycle, Renew and Reuse and lastly Crafting a Community.


The subjects are intermixed with tips and tricks to create your own movement as well as case studies about those who have made a difference in their community via craft.


Each section is split into four, starting with a profile about a crafter or a group bringing their message


100 | ukhandmade | Spring 2012


to the community. There is a section named ‘DIY’ with tips and tricks on how to do something similar – for example, how to value your handmade work to sell, organising an Artist Trading Card exchange or how to organise a craft night. The 3rd section named ‘Makers Jam’ offers little snippets of what people have done in their communities to give you just a little bit more inspiration to get out there. Each section ends with a tutorial inspired by the profile, each of which are detailed and beautifully photographed. You can learn how to make everything from a knitted jumper to a skirt made from upcycled plastic bags.


The book mainly focuses on traditional crafts such as knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery and sewing. As this book is about


trying new things and exploring the world of handmade it would be nice to see some more unusual crafts in the book. I think the reason crochet and knitting features so regularly is because both of the authors first discovered the power craft movement via these two popular crafts.


This is book is a call to action with a dash of aspiration, designed to give you a warm fuzzy feeling about the world of craft and how it has made a difference to people’s lives. It is a nice book to dip in to and the tutorials are good if you are a confident crafter.


The authors have also set up an accompanying blog with stories about the crafters featured in the book with snippets from elsewhere in the crafting community.


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